According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, the Dodgers and free agent reliever Chris Perez are closing in on a one year deal. Terms of the contract are not yet known and no official announcement has been made. So let's assume that the deal goes through. How will it work for the Dodgers?
Perez, 28, has four straight years of closing experience, tallying at least 20 Saves in each of the past four seasons. Ned Colletti stated earlier in the winter that he wanted relievers in the pen who could close, even after re-signing Brian Wilson. Chris gives them just that.
Well, that wasn't a whole lot of pros. The cons are considerable. Perez surrendered 11 home runs in 54 innings last season, meaning one out of every five flyballs he served up left the park. He's had an erratic career, seeing his K/9 fluctuate from 10.74 all the way down to 5.88 and back up to 9 again. His control has never been great, with 3.78 walks per nine in his career. And while the home run rate is likely to lower after what appears to be an aberration, he still gives up about one every nine innings.
More concerning is the fact that his fastball was a liability last year. Not only did he lose more than a mile per hour according to pitch f/x, the run value for the pitch was -15.4. He did have success with his slider, but given that those are his only two pitches, it's kind of important that he establishes the fastball.
This seems like a very Ned Colletti move, with a Kasten twist: take a "proven" closer, add him to an overcrowded bullpen, but only sign him for one year. With Jansen, Wilson, Howell and League making in excess of $5 million a year, this becomes one of the most expensive bullpens in history. It also takes a spot away from a younger player like Jose Dominguez or Yimi Garcia.
Overall, the fact that it's a one year deal means it's a low risk, medium reward deal that gives the Dodgers a guy with closing experience who will likely be spending most of his time pitching the 7th inning. I could think of worse deals (looking at you, League).